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Counting the calories when convenience snacking – new vending data reveals a healthier approach to food on the go

Zero sugar cans on the rise

Following Public Health England’s latest report on the sugar tax, national vending suppliers, The Vending People, have delved into drink and food trends of 2018-2019 in the convenience snacking sector.

The analysis has revealed the following information for drinks sold across the UK in vending machines.

Drink trend increases:

  • ZERO sugar drinks take 42% of the market, outselling high sugar ones by twice the amount
  • ZERO sugar cans have the highest increase year-on-year at 38.2%
  • Despite the ZERO sugar dominance, high sugar cans increased by 12.3%

Drink trend decreases:

  • High sugar drinks sold in 2019 decreased by 3.0% from 2018
  • High sugar bottles sold in 2019 decreased by 19.8% from 2018

For the snack market, the following insight was gained from The Vending People’s analysis:

  • The snack market overall grew by 16% year-on-year
  • NHS / CQUIN-compliant snacks [less than 250 calories] increased year-on-year by 13.2%
  • NHS / CQUIN-compliant snacks [less than 250 calories] sold 220% more than high sugar snacks in 2019

In-house Merchandising Analyst at The Vending People, commented:

“While the sugar levy of April 2018 impacted drink habits, the trend of choosing cans over bottles and the increase in high sugar cans is an interesting one. The overall rise in ZERO sugar bottles and cans implies vending customers are making a more health-conscious choice on a regular basis. However, the fact that high sugar cans show year-on-year growth indicates that high sugar cans are bought as a treat.”

The Evolution of Snacking campaign aims to help consumers make the transition to a healthier snack choice. By raising awareness of snack habits and by highlighting year-on-year changes, The Vending People hope to encourage consumers to explore alternative snacks. The Vending People’s new healthy pop-up vending machine range supports this campaign. It features sugar-free drinks and snacks below 150 calories, making these fully NHS / CQUIN-compliant while also offering a tasty snack range.